Three of our newly qualified teachers are up and running at the Kakuma Refugee Camp. Our Kenya Programme Coordinator went with them to settle them in and sent us this report, including interviews with each of the teachers.
Comments from Kenya Programme Coordinator:
Currently the total refugee camp population is 188,000 from 15 different countries. More than 80% of these are South Sudanese.
Due to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan the UNHCR is preparing to receive an estimated 88,000 refugees into Kakuma from the 265,000 that are already registered as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) within South Sudan. The vast majority of these are women and children.
These new arrivals will be settled in a 1,300 acre plot of land where there are already 38,000 refugees. Roughly 8,000 of these are children of school age but currently there is no primary or secondary school in this new sub-camp.
Our teachers are part of the team spear heading the learning activities in this new sub-camp. Their teaching has begun in temporary classrooms but the UNHCR has funding for more permanent structures that they hope to build this year.
NB. The photos shown were taken from a one off lesson each teacher took within the main part of the camp.
The environment in Kakuma is harsh; it is very hot and dusty. Our teachers will have to adjust to the climate as they have spent several years in Nairobi. However with the encouragement and support we give them they are prepared to take up the hard but noble task of bringing high quality education to these refugee children.
Quotes from interviews with the teachers:
"It is really amazing for us to be able to use our skills to help these young people. They are in so much need and we will work hard to ensure they receive a good education."
"A real challenge is making sure your lessons are suitable for every child because there are many different levels. Some students have studied a lot, some hardly at all. Some have come straight from South Sudan where they use a different system than here in Kenya. Despite that we are up for the challenge."
"We are honoured to be here and we want to thank everyone who made it possible. We can make a real difference to young people's lives here."